December 27, 2009

Cheese Stuffed Shells

· 2 beaten eggs
· 2 cups shredded mozzarella
· 1 ½ cups ricotta
· 1/3 cup grated parmesan
· 2 teaspoons dried parsley
· ¼ teaspoon pepper
Mix everything together. Use mixture to stuff shells or manicotti. Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes (until bubbly).
Serve with meat sauce or marinara sauce.
Alternatives: Add some cooked, drained spinach to the mixture. Or add some ground meat, cooked and seasoned. Cool meat some before mixing it with the cheeses. Stuff and cooked as directed.

No Oat Apple Crisp

· 4 cups sliced apples
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
· ½ cup water
· ½ cup white sugar
· ½ cup brown sugar
· ¼ cup butter
· ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
2. Place apples in prepared dish. Sprinkle with one-teaspoon cinnamon. Pour water all over. In a bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Blend in flour and other teaspoon of cinnamon until mixture forms crumbles. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples.
3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is golden.

Banana Nut Bread

· ½ cup butter
· 1 cup sugar
· 2 eggs, beaten
· 3 mashed bananas (1 cup)
· 2 cups flour
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon baking powder
· 3 tablespoons buttermilk
· ½ teaspoon vanilla
· ½ cup chopped nuts, optional

Beat butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs and bananas. Sift dry ingredients and add to banana mixture. Beat in milk and vanilla. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Double the recipe and cook in a Bundt pan. Over-ripe bananas also make a moister nut bread.

Banana Nut Bread made with half whole wheat flour. I also decreased the amount of sugar just a little bit. Still just as moist and yummy! 

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, deer, etc.)
¼ c. Ketchup
1 tbs. Worstersier Sauce
1 squirt. mustard
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 Pkg. Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls
1. Brown ground beef in a pan. When cooked through add additional ingredience except rolls and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Spoon into hamburger rolls and enjoy.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted (can use oil)
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin (2 cups using homemade)
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
½ cup water
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional)
Sift dry ingredients together with spices. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and pumpkin and mix well. Mix melted butter and water and add alternately with flour mixture. Add nuts if using. Pour into 2 greased floured 9×5 loaf pans or one Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done at 350*.

Peach Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Mix the dry and liquid mixtures together just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 22-25 minutes.

Zesty Chicken and Pasta

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Italian Reduced Fat Dressing, divided
2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 small bunch)
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions (about 1 small)
1-1/4 cups chopped red peppers (about 1 large)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 pkg. (8 oz.) pasta, cooked, drained
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
COOK and stir chicken in 1/4 cup of the dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. or until no longer pink.
ADD broccoli, onions, peppers and parsley; cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
TOSS with hot pasta and remaining 1/4 cup dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.

Un-fried French Fries

1-1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Wash potatoes; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1/4-inch thick strips; transfer to large bowl. Add dressing and cheese; toss well.
ARRANGE potatoes in single layer on large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray potatoes with cooking spray.
BAKE 12 min. Turn potatoes over with large spatula. Continue baking 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown and crisp. (May need to cook longer depending on how crisp you want them.)

Cheddar Biscuits

2 c bisquick
2/3-3/4 c shredded cheddar
2/3 c milk
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix first three, drop in spoonfulls on baking sheet. 450 for 8-10min until brown. Brush tops with the butter/garlic mixture. Done.

Potato Casserole

1 (1 lb) bag of frozen hash brown potatoes
½ cup melted butter
1 tablespoon of salt
½ tablespoon of pepper
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) sour cream
1 (8 or 10oz) package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup of chopped onion (optional)
2 cups crushed corn flakes
¼ cup melted butter
Mix first 8 ingredients together and pour into buttered casserole pan.
Top with corn flake crumbs mixed with butter.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Often I can't find 16oz of potatoes, but I just buy the smallest bag I can and use it all. I don't add extra ingredients unless it's a really big bag. You can also make this without the corn flake topping. I don't keep corn flakes around the house, so I usually leave it off because I don't want to spend money on a box of cereal that's not going to be eaten!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (deeper one)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, EAGLE BRAND®, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Oreo Party Pops

Oreo Party Popsby
20 popsicle or lollipop sticks
20 Oreo Double Stuff
® cookies
1 12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. vegetable oil
Chopped nuts, colored sprinkles or miniature candies like M&M's
® or Reeses Pieces®
* To form Oreo® Pops, insert popsicle sticks into the cream center of each cookie. Set aside.
* In a small saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate and oil until melted and smooth, stirring constantly.
* Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate, coating evenly. Place dipped cookies on waxed paper and decorate with chopped nuts, sprinkles or candies.
* Leave cookies on waxed paper until completely set, then wrap in plastic wrap and tie with a bow for gift-giving.
Makes 20 Oreo® Pops

I made these last year only I didn't buy/use sticks. I just dipped them 3/4ths in the chocolate mixture. People love these - they went super fast!

Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip


· ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
· ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
· ½ cup sour cream
· ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
· 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
· Dash white pepper
· 1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped (non-marinated)
· 1 cup loosely packed, coarsely chopped spinach leaves
· ½ cup finely chopped red onion (1 medium)
1. In a large bowl combine mozzarella cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the mustard, and pepper. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and onion. Spread mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
2. Bake, uncovered, in a 350*oven about 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges, French bread, and/or crackers. Also really good with tortilla chips.
Make ahead directions: Prepare as above through step 1. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes or until heated through.

December 11, 2009

Tomato Spinach Pasta Toss

2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
baby spinach (regular package of pre washed)
1 can diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning (to taste)
1/2 lb of ground Italian sausage (not in casings)
mozzarella cheese (for topping)

Boil pasta according to directions.
Meanwhile in a large skillet cook Italian sausage until browned and cooked well. Drain. Return to stove and add the can of diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer and add the baby spinach (yes, all of it). Stir occasionally until spinach is wilted.
Serve spinach and meat sauce over pasta. Add mozzarella cheese to the top.

Menu: December

I'm doing a BIG shopping trip tomorrow for groceries. I'm going to have DH pick up a few perishables along the way. Not ideal, but it keeps me from having to grocery shop over Christmas weekend, and I'm super busy next weekend. :)

Menu: December 4th – 10th

Friday Dinner: chicken pot pie (yeah, didn't end up eating it till the end of the week; I also made two of them and put the 2nd in the freezer)

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: homemade biscuits and scrambled eggs

Saturday Dinner: Squadron Christmas Party

Sunday Dinner: shrimp and grits

Monday – Thursday Meals:

1. Southwest fettuccine bowl (finally made it! Pretty good!)
2. Chicken Parmesan and sautéed squash
3. Leftover shrimp and grits (Monday)
4. Out to eat for friend's birthday (Thursday)

Friday 12/11: slow-cooker chili

Saturday 12/12: biscuits and eggs

Leftover Slow-cooker chili

Sunday 12/13: Rise and Shine Waffles

Chili-rubbed steaks and pan salsa with sautéed zucchini and mac & cheese

Monday-Thursday 12/14-12/17:

1. Chicken taco salads
2. Red beans and rice with turkey sausage
3. Tomato spinach pasta toss
4. Cheesy tuna noodle casserole

Friday 12/18: out to eat (probably Chinese)

Saturday 12/19: oatmeal

CGO party- Baked ziti (will post recipe if it turns out great!), French bread (from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day), and cocktail sausages

Sunday 12/20: leftovers

Chicken pot pie (frozen), fix and freeze spinach lasagna (I am using ricotta instead of cottage cheese and adding some ground beef to the sauce.)

Monday-Wednesday 12/21-12/23: (ask DH to pick up perishables this week)

1. pineapple pork chops, au gratin potatoes, and green beans
2. Tortellini with fresh vegetables with chicken added
3. Frozen pizzas

Thursday 12/24: Lasagna with homemade rolls (have leftovers that I froze from Thanksgiving)

Friday 12/25: cinnamon rolls (I could make these, but I decided to take the really easy route for Christmas and buy the stuff in the can. :D)

Leftover lasagna and rolls, Spinach-Apple salad with maple-cider vinaigrette

Dessert: blackberry cobbler

Saturday 12:26: leftover cobbler

Pasta with pumpkin and sausage (I'm cutting the recipe in half.)

Sunday 12/27: Spicy Roasted chicken legs, frozen veggie, and mac & cheese

Monday-Wednesday 12/28-12/30:

1. Velveeta spinach and pasta dinner (with added squash, extra spices, and only 6oz cheese)
2. Out to eat (probably Quiznos or Carmines)
3. Tilapia, steamed rice, and broccoli

Thursday 12/31: BBQ pork shoulder (no recipe just throw a shoulder into a crockpot on low all day long till cooked; shred; use a GOOD bbq sauce like Corky's) and cornbread (I've got a new cast iron skillet that I can't wait to use for this!)

Make sausage balls for new year’s party

Friday 1/1: Leftover BBQ pork shoulder and parmesan puffs

Saturday 1/2: whole wheat applesauce muffins (makes a lot, so I'm going to freeze half of them)

Homemade BBQ pizza (will probably use boule bread from Artisan Bread book for the crust)

Going shopping Sunday 1/3.

November 30, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

I *finally* found a whole wheat bread recipe that I WANT to make again. One that DH told me I can make again and again. Miracle! :) This bread was perfect for leftover turkey sandwiches.

This is from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I highly recommend this book. I haven't made all the breads in it yet by any means, but I can't wait to try them. The ones that I have made so far have been wonderful. I like the whole no kneading part along with making enough dough for more than one loaf...oh and the part about not having to cook it all at once. :)

Link to recipe thanks to another blog. Only difference I would like to note is that it must be Kosher salt, not just any salt. Also the book says it's 2 packets of yeast not 1 1/2 that needs to be used.

November 20, 2009

I'm thinking of celebrating Thanksgiving with the Canadians next year...

Cause grocery shopping is horrid the week leading up to Thanksgiving! It makes me want to save up money to eat out every day for the next week just so that I don't have to battle it out at the grocery store! It was a madhouse this afternoon. Almost three hours and two stores of torture. And it wasn't as if I had a very long grocery list either. Only 55 items or so.

First up was the commissary. $95 spent. This includes $20 in kitty related purchases (he needed more food and litter). While I kept my spending under control, it took me forever to get through that store. I actually got the last on the shelf of unbleached all purpose flour, sparkling red grape juice, and canola oil. One woman tried to argue me out of buying the canola oil. I had a coupon for it, so I wasn't giving it away! Another woman shot me dirty looks as she saw me grab the flour. In turn though I did not get any whipping cream - they were all out!

Second up was Smith's. It was less crazy, but I was already very frazzled by that point. I am very proud to say that I spent $40 there and walked away with a 13 lb turkey, 5 packages of shredded cheese, eggs, that darn whipping cream, salad mix, Dr. Pepper, package of hash browns, bottle of vodka, bottle of rum, and 2 bottles of wine. The lady behind me in line jaw dropped when she saw my original total ($90) and what I actually paid. I did great with pairing up coupons with their sales.

But now I'm going to sit with a glass of wine and try and calm down from the afternoon's grocery wars.

November 19, 2009

Sister Schubert's Parkerhouse Rolls

Sister Schubert's Parkerhouse Rolls

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water (105-115)
5 c. sifted all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening, melted
2 large eggs litely beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

Combine yeast and warm water in a 2-cup liquid
measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine 4 c. sifted flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and shortening. Add eggs and remaining 1 c. of flour. Stir vigorously until well blended. (Dough will be soft and sticky). Brush or lightly rub dough with some of the
melted butter. Cover loosley, let rise in a warm place (85) free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Grease 4 (8-inch) round cakepans and set aside.

Sift 3/4 c. flour in a thick layer over evenly over work surface. Turn dough onto surface, it will be soft. Sift 1/2 c. flour evenly over dough. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness, brush off excess flour.

Cut out dough using a floured 2" biscuit cutter. Pull each round into an oval, approx. 2 1/2" long. Dip one side of oval into melted butter, fold oval in half with buttered side facing out. (Floured side will form the famous Parkerhouse pocket.)

For each pan, place the folds of 10 rolls against side of pan, pressing center fronts of rolls together gently to seal. Place 5 rolls in inner circle and i in the middle. for a total of 16 rolls in each pan. Cover loosely and let rise in warm, free of drafts place 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400, bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes or til lighly browned.

OMG are these the BEST rolls ever! This is now my favorite rolls recipe ever. I cooked 2 round tins of rolls for Thanksgiving dinner and put the other two in the freezer for Christmas. These rolls were a huge hit with everyone. :)

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Menu: Nov 20 - Dec 3

Friday Dinner: Cheesy Chicken and Rice (did not eat from last menu)

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Bruschetta and Brie with homemade baguettes

Saturday Dinner: Chili-Rubbed Steaks and Pan Salsa, sweet potatoes, sautéed zucchini

Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: leftovers

Sunday Dinner: Calzones

Monday – Wednesday:

1. Monday - Linguine with Peppers and Sausage

2. Wednesday - Applesauce Pancakes and eggs (freezing leftover pancakes)

3. Tuesday - Taco Salads w/ ground turkey

Thanksgiving: (having meal with friends)
Squash Casserole
Potato Casserole
Homemade Rolls (trying new recipe)

Friday Breakfast/Lunch: Breakfast “Pizza” (scroll down; it's there)

Friday Dinner: Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: leftover breakfast pizza

Saturday Dinner: Turkey, cranberry sauce, green beans, au gratin potatoes

Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: leftovers

Sunday Dinner: turkey sandwiches

Make Chicken Pot Pie with turkey leftovers, refrigerate for later dinners

Monday – Thursday:

1. Southwest fettuccine bowl

2. Frozen ravioli

3. chicken pot pie (Monday and Tuesday)

November 08, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie (for 2)

1/2 cup canned condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk (skim)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup cut-up cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
1/4 cup fat-free milk (skim)
2 tablespoons fat-free egg product or 1 egg white

Heat oven to 400*F. In an ungreased 1-quart casserole, stir together soup and 1/4 cup milk; stir in vegetables and chicken. Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes; stir.
In a small bowl stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour oven chicken mixture.
Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

I did not get around to making this. However, I do want to give it a try. Probably not nearly as good as Kombatkween's Chicken Pot Pie, but this is MUCH faster - especially for 2 people!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

1 cup milk (skim works great supposedly)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites or 1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or canned (drained) blueberries

Heat oven to 400*F. Grease bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or place baking cups in each muffin cup.
Mix milk, applesauce, oil, vanilla and egg whites in a large bowl with a whisk. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, using spoon, just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.

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Rise-and-Shine Waffles

For Waffles:
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk (skim works great for this)
1/4 cup fat-free egg product or 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For Topping:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/8 cup maple-flavored syrup

In large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar and milk; let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix yogurt and syrup until well blended; refrigerate until serving time.

Stir egg product (or egg whites) and oil into oat mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Let stand 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, heat waffle maker (spray with cooking spray before heating).

For each waffle, pour batter onto center of hot waffle maker, spreading batter to edges. Use manufacturer's directions for amount of batter. Close lid.

Bake for FIVE MINUTES or until waffle is golden brown (for my waffle maker, this is a longer cooking time than it takes for other waffles). Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve waffles with topping.

We thought these waffles were WONDERFUL! Have a great bite to them. Very sweet, so it takes like a great treat. You don't need much of the yummy topping to really bring it together, so cut down the topping at least in half. Can't wait to make them again! : )

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Menu: Nov 9 - 19

Last week we had interesting schedules. Between our "off" schedules, we didn't eat dinner together every night. So some dinners actually were used for two nights in a row and some things we just didn't get to. Friday night we went out with friends. Saturday night we ate quick to prepared foods that we had hanging around. Tonight we had a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and one of our friend's parents. Busy, busy! I wasn't able to go to the grocery store till this afternoon! Yikes! But here is my menu for the next two weeks. :)

Monday – Thursday:

1. BLTs (Tuesday for DHs birthday, his choice)

2. Grilled chicken salads

3. Eggplant pasta

4. Turkey meatballs with pasta, spinach, and marinara sauce

DH Birthday Dessert (for Tuesday): Oreo Cheesecake

Friday Dinner: Baked Asian-Style Honey Chicken and sautéed zucchini

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Oatmeal and fruit

Saturday Dinner: homemade macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and leftover chicken

Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: Egg-in-a-Hole

Sunday Dinner: Jambalaya

Monday – Thursday:

1. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

2. Out to eat (probably Quiznos)

3. Grilled cheese and tomato soup

4. Beer battered fish (I'm cheating; I bought it frozen!), tater tots, and green beans


I spent $95 for groceries today. I'm pretty sure I bought everything I needed too for two weeks! That's exciting! :)

October 29, 2009

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1.25-oz.) package chili seasoning mix
1 (12-oz.) can beer
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Toppings: shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend, finely chopped red onion

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in beer, and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into 5 1/2 qt. slow-cooker; stir in corn and next six ingredients until well blended. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.
This was a fantastic recipe! DH absolutely loved it. My husband isn't all that fond of leftovers, but he does eat what I put in his lunch box. With this meal, he ate it for lunch and then asked if we could eat what was left for dinner that same day! Wow! That's a HUGE compliment coming from my husband!
Makes enough for 6, through the recipe claims 4. We definitely got more than 4 servings out of it!

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Santa Fe Foldover

This meal is from Betty Crocker's Cooking for 2. :)

1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup very hot water
1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup chunky salsa
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/3 cup chopped tomato
sour cream

1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat over to 375*F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, stir Bisquick mix, cornmeal, and very hot water until a soft dough forms. Place on surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix, gently rolling to coat. Shape into ball; knead about 5 times or until smooth. Roll dough into 10-inch circle. Place on pizza pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together beans and salsa; spread over dough to within 2 inches of edge. Sprinkle with onions. Fold edge over. Sprinkle cheese over beans.
4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.

Things I did differently: I added a small chicken breast to the mixture that was chopped finely and cooked. I also cooked the chicken with a bit of diced onion; I did not use green onions. I also added some chopped fresh baby spinach to the mixture. Then baked as directed.

This recipe was good but lacking in bold flavor. Next time I'm going to add some seasonings to it. The dough would also work well for a lot of other fillings, so I might use this idea again to just empty out some leftover stuff from the fridge. By itself it was enough to fill up two adults. :)

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October 26, 2009

Tally Time!

Before I forget, here's what I spent the past two trips for groceries.

10/16 I went by the commissary ($62.73), Smith's ($2.49), and Fresh & Easy ($3.87). I saved $8.45 with coupons. Total spent $69.09. This trip included buying candy for Halloween.

10/23 I went by the commissary ($83.21) and Smith's ($11.97). I saved $9.25 with coupons. Total spent $95.18. This is for two weeks worth of groceries. I will need to go by a store next weekend though and pick up three items. I didn't want to get them too soon and have them go bad.

While I spent more on 10/16's trip, I hit my target of $50 per week on this last trip!

If I didn't have the commissary, I'd probably spend more time each week examining the weekly ad and making more of a menu based on their good deals. I also would probably up my spending goal to $60/week. It's a bit more expensive out in town. At the same time, I'd probably buy more off brand items (commissary just has name brand). I'd might even spend a little more time hunting down coupons and pairing them with the weekly ad. I'm definitely grateful for the commissary being slightly lower in prices at this base!

October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons butter
½ onion (or one small one), diced finely
1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups homemade)
½-1 cup milk (or heavy whipping cream)
Kosher salt
White ground pepper
Cook rice according to directions.
Melt the butter in a large sauce or soup pot. Cook onion and chicken until onion is clear and starting to brown and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Add chicken broth and pumpkin to pot. Cook on medium until you notice soup is thickening. Add rice to soup whenever rice is ready. While soup is thickening, add ½ teaspoon white ground pepper, ½ teaspoon parsley, ½ teaspoon thyme, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Stir well. Taste. Add more if necessary. Add salt if needed (may need some if using low sodium chicken broth). Once soup is thickened, add ½ cup milk. You may need to add up to ½ cup more depending on taste and how thick it is.

Yummy! I loved it! It's very filling. DH and I both had a big bowl of it for dinner. We have enough left overs for use to both eat this again. So this serves 4! Not to mention this is was so quick to cook that I'll probably use it as a week night meal in the future. That makes me happy.
This recipe makes a soup with a lot of rice. We like it that way. If you are not into a lot of rice in your soup, cut the rice in half.

October 21, 2009

Menu: Oct 23-Nov 5

October 23rd – 29th

Friday dinner: Pumpkin Soup (I'll post recipe after I figure out what version I'm doing!)

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Rise-and-Shine Waffles (from an iPhone app; will post later)

Saturday dinner: steak bites, smashed potatoes, and green beans

Sunday breakfast/lunch: leftover waffles/leftover chicken

Sunday dinner: Homemade Pizza (I'll be honest and admit that I don't precook my crust and it still turns out fine, just not as crisp. DH is having pepperoni and I'm having tomato and spinach)

Monday dinner: Santa Fe Fold-over (from an iPhone app; will post later)

Tuesday dinner: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili (found this in Southern Living magazine)

Wednesday dinner: southwestern chicken sandwiches and squash (marinating chicken breasts in a mix of salad dressing and hot chili sauce, grilling them and serving on whole wheat bread with melted cheese, baby spinach, and sauce made of mayo and chili sauce)

Thursday dinner: Fish Sticks and mixed veggies

(make spicy bean salsa for a Halloween party we're attending Friday night)

October 30th – November 5th

Friday dinner: Red Beans and Rice w/ Smoked Sausage

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Macaroni and Cheese

Saturday dinner: spicy chicken and rice with broccoli (I'm making this up based on a restaurant meal)

Sunday breakfast/lunch: Whole-Wheat Blueberry Muffins (from an iPhone app)

Sunday dinner: Baked Potato Soup (THE BEST EVER!!!)

Monday dinner: leftover Potato Soup

Tuesday dinner: Velveeta Spinach and Pasta Dinner (following my revised version)

Wednesday dinner: Easy Chicken Pot Pie for 2 (from an iPhone app)

Thursday dinner: chicken and cheese quesadillas

October 20, 2009

Pork Burgers

1 lb lean ground pork
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients. Grill as normal.

Original recipe included 1 tablespoon of lime peel, but I don't have limes right now. Didn't miss it. Recipe also called for serving it on french bread with red onion.
These were good. DH gave me a look like I lost my mind, but it was a great use of the leftover ground pork I had. I served our burgers on toasted whole wheat bread.

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October 17, 2009

Muggle Cookies (aka, basic pumpkin cookies)


1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
2 cups flour - all purpose
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2: Cream sugar and shortening.

Step 3: Add vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin.

Step 4: Sift dry ingredients.

Step 5: Add remaining ingredients - mix well.

Step 6: Use teaspoon to drop cookies on cookie sheet.

Step 7: Bake 10-12 minutes.

These are great, moist cookies! Do note that they are cake like in consistency. I ran across this recipe and just couldn't resist them Saturday night!
If you're like me and don't keep shortening around the house, replace it with softened butter.

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October 15, 2009

Menu: Oct 16-22

Friday dinner: Spaghetti squash w/ chicken and spaghetti sauce (DH won't eat it without some sort of meat)

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Baked oatmeal

Saturday dinner: pork burgers, zucchini, and pasta side (found a recipe for the burgers and I already have ground pork in my freezer, so worth a try)

Sunday breakfast/lunch: leftover baked oatmeal

Sunday dinner: Baked chicken nuggets, veggie steamer, and leftover pasta side

Monday dinner: taco salad using ground turkey

Tuesday dinner: Salmon, rice, and veggie steamer

Wednesday dinner: frozen pizza

Thursday dinner: tortellini with fresh vegetables

October 06, 2009

Pumpkin and Lasagna Florentine

1) I attempted making my own pumpkin puree. To say that it was frustrating is an understatement. Asked on a forum for help. Will attempt again. Till then, I'm not about to share any knowledge. lol.

2) Had the Lasagna Florentine tonight. It's not great, but it's not bad either. DH said it was too spinach-y. Remember he hates spinach; he just puts up with my love for it. I didn't find it great either, but it was edible. Good idea for using up that box that was in the back of the pantry. I'm sure it would be better if it didn't use Hamburger Helper which has never been known for it's great taste. ;)

***PUMPKIN UPDATE 10/15***
I am happy to announce that I was able to make my own pumpkin puree without hassle last weekend. While I was at home visiting family, I gave it another try. This time I cut it up and threw it in a crockpot (no extra water or anything). I put the crockpot on high and forgot about it for awhile. Once I remembered it, I checked on it. When it was tender with a fork, I took it out to cool. The skin came off A LOT easier. I won't say that it's a task done in a minute or two, but I certainly didn't feel like killing anybody. Major step up! I used a processor to puree it. The results made for some wonderful pumpkin muffins (followed pumpkin bread recipe), pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin pie. Score! :)

September 30, 2009

Keeping the Costs Down

I'm seeing more and more people worried about their grocery budget and trying to find ways to cut cost. It's been awhile since I've talked about how much I'm spending at the grocery store, but I guarantee that the most I've spent in a weeks worth of groceries has been $60 the past few months. Remember that it's just the two of us, so many meals provide us with leftovers that we then eat for lunches.

Last commissary visit I spent $65. I also went by Fresh and Easy for a few things from their sale ad (or to get items that just looked icky at the commissary). I spent $7. DH went by the commissary last Friday and bought more water for us and fresh baby spinach. He bought A LOT of water (we just can't stand the taste of the water here at all), so that was $12 total. So for two weeks we spent a total of $84. I don't think that an average of $42 a week is too shabby at all! :D

For this Friday's trip, I have 30 items on my list. This includes extras (staples that I have good coupons for), personal items, and a few items for travel. I'll update soon as to how much I spent. I only have about $8 in coupons where I usually have between $10 and $20 worth.

Speaking of coupons, I still don't go out of my way to find them. I check on a few sites (which I have linked on the sidebar) each week. I only print out the items that I ALWAYS USE. Right before I go grocery shopping, I check to see if there's anything else there that I need. A coupon is useless if you're not going to actually use the product. Just because you can get a good deal on a product doesn't mean you have to get it. Just get what you need! Sometimes if I'm extra thrifty, I good product name brand site and see if they have any coupons that I can print for that week's trip.
Secondly, I also make sure to clip all the coupons I find (and know I'll use) from Red Plum and P&G mailing ads. In some areas of the country these can only be found in Sunday newspapers. Out here I've gotten the occasional Sunday paper for free (their sad attempt at getting us to pay for future ones), and there's hardly anything in it. Not worth it at all here, but it may be where you live.
The third place I find coupons is from the store shelves and store ads. I'm one of those annoying people who takes a handful of coupons (if they have a while till they expire) if I see them hanging there by a product that I use a lot. And I always take the commissary ad they hand out. Always a few good coupons in there. I take all my coupons and save them till I need them. That's about as much work as I'm willing to do. I have zero desire to buy coupons online from others. I have no desire to search a dozen sites just for ONE coupon to save me fifty cents. I'm all about saving money, but not at the cost of my time and sanity. :)

I went to the commissary yesterday and spent $27.15 on 24 grocery items. I saved $6.95 with coupons. I also went by Fresh and Easy where I spent $11.62 on 7 items. Total for groceries is $38.77. I could have done better if I hadn't bought extras like a pie pumpkin, 2 cans of pumpkin, chocolate chips, etc. I'm not going to use any of that stuff right now (well, I'll cook the pie pumpkin and freeze the puree), but I decided it made sense to buy extras now to keep down the grocery cost for the next time when I am buying for a full menu. Oh, and yes expect lots of pumpkin to be seen on upcoming menus! Mmmmm!

Menu: Oct 2-15

This is NOT an exciting menu at all. We're going to be out of town for a good chunk of it. I'm excited to be able to see my little sister for her birthday this year! :)

Friday: Squadron Auction Night (making a rum cake for it; note that this isn't the exact recipe I'm using, but it's close)

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: cereal and fruit

Saturday Dinner: grilled chicken salads

Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: cheese grits

Sunday Dinner: spiced beef kabobs with grilled potatoes and zucchini (did not eat from last menu)

Monday Diner: Lasagna Florentine (Despite not so great reviews, I'm giving this a try so that we can finally eat that old box of hamburger helper from many moons ago. I'll let you know how it goes.)

Out of town 10/6-10/13

Wednesday Dinner: frozen prepared meal (whatever is cheapest of the ones we’ll eat)

Thursday Dinner: Italian Sausage pasta with green beans on the side (Yeah, I'm kinda making this one up based on what's in the pantry already.)

September 25, 2009

Baked Cheese Sticks

So I really, really want to make these baked cheese sticks. My hips would appreciate it if I didn't though. So I'm encouraging all of you to make them and tell me how good they are. I'm thinking about making them as an appetizer the next time I have company over. Blake and Becky, do you want these for our next get together? :D

My other purpose for posting it is to send you over to that online friend's blog (Give Peas a Chance). If you like asian dishes, she's blogged (mostly step by step too!) quite a few. And unlike me, she remembers to occasionally take pictures of her cute bentos. And 99% of her recipes have pictures where I just claim that mine look good. Enjoy!

September 24, 2009

Fried Squash

My favorite way to cook yellow squash!

Squash, at least 3 descent sized ones, sliced
onion, diced
egg, 1 or 2 depending on how much or how little squash you make
2 tablespoons butter

Melt butter in a large, tall sided skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onion and squash. Be patient for the next 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Usually during the first 10 minutes I put the lid on the pan and just take it off to stir. If there's a lot of liquid, I take the lid off sooner. You're waiting for the squash to cook and start to fall apart. After 20 minutes the squash should start to brown. If not, turn up the heat and wait for it to brown some. Meanwhile, beat the egg (or eggs if you used a lot of squash). Once squash is party golden brown, pour the egg on top of the squash. Stir until egg is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. I do recommend using more squash than you think you'll need because it does cook down quite a bit! Often the squash and onions in the beginning barely fit in my skillet, but it cooks way down and it quite easy to stir after a few minutes. Squash and eggs sounds weird to some people, but if you like squash you'll love this!

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